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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 August 29, 2019

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.

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(3rd LD) U.S. calls on S. Korea to renew intel pact with Japan

WASHINGTON -- The United States is urging South Korea to renew its military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, a senior U.S. defense official said Wednesday.

Speaking at an event at a Washington think tank, Randall Schriver, U.S. assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, said the U.S. was not forewarned of South Korea's decision to pull out of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with Japan.

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(2nd LD) U.S. defense leaders express disappointment at S. Korea-Japan row

WASHINGTON -- The United States' top defense leaders expressed disappointment Wednesday over an ongoing dispute between South Korea and Japan that recently led to Seoul's decision to terminate an intelligence sharing pact with Tokyo.

At a joint press conference at the Pentagon, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford said they believe it is in the interest of all three countries to work together.

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(LEAD) S. Korea-U.S. alliance to remain firm despite GSOMIA withdrawal: envoy

WASHINGTON -- The South Korea-United States alliance will remain firm despite the planned termination of a military intelligence-sharing agreement between South Korea and Japan, Seoul's top envoy to Washington said Wednesday.

Amb. Cho Yoon-je said the U.S.'s disappointment at South Korea's decision to withdraw from the General Security of Military Information Agreement is understandable, given that Washington had opposed it.

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Moon asks Japan to be honest about past history

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in urged Japan on Thursday to be honest about past history and its motive to impose export restrictions on South Korea.

"Japan has not honestly disclosed its reasons for economic retaliation and attempted to justify (its act) by groundlessly and frequently changing its arguments," the president said while presiding over a Cabinet meeting at Cheong Wa Dae.

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N. Korea to hold parliamentary meeting amid speculation over resumption of nuclear talks

SEOUL -- North Korea's rubber-stamp legislature was set to hold a rare second meeting of the year on Thursday, spawning speculation about what message Pyongyang will send to the outside world amid stalled denuclearization talks with the United States.

The Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), the highest organ of state power under the constitution, usually meets once a year to rubber-stamp decisions by the ruling Workers' Party. The North has also used SPA sessions as a major platform to unveil key policy changes or messages.

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S. Korea unveils record high budget for 2020

SEJONG -- South Korea on Thursday proposed a record 513.5 trillion-won (US$423.7 billion) budget for 2020 to boost its slowing economy beset by a deepening U.S.-China trade row and more recently its own with Japan.

The expansionary budget -- endorsed by the Cabinet -- represents a 9.3 percent hike from 2019 and marks the second straight year that the budget proposal has risen by more than 9 percent.

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Samsung not considering release of Galaxy Note 10's LTE version in S. Korea

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Note 10 will be only available in 5G models in South Korea, despite the government's pressure to add a long-term evolution (LTE) network version to expand options for local consumers, industry sources said Thursday.

The Korean tech giant last week launched the Note 10 only in 5G models in the domestic market starting at 1.25 million won (US$1,030), while offering the phablet both in LTE and 5G versions abroad.

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N. Korea says recent weapons tests aim to defend dignity from growing outside threats

SEOUL -- North Korea's recent weapons tests are aimed at bolstering its self-defense capacity at a time when "imperialistic behavior" infringing upon the sovereignty of other nations is spreading around the world, Pyongyang's official newspaper said Thursday.

North Korea has fired seven rounds of short-range missiles and projectiles since late July, including the latest test of what it called a new "super-large" multiple rocket launcher on Saturday.

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Diplomats of S. Korea, Japan to hold talks after whitelist removal

SEOUL -- Diplomats of South Korea and Japan were set to hold talks in Seoul on Thursday over a deepening trade and history row, a day after Tokyo enforced its decision to remove Seoul from its list of favored trade partners.

Kenji Kanasugi, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs, was scheduled to arrive in Seoul and meet with his counterpart, Kim Jung-han, later in the day. They last met in Beijing last week.

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Top court to rule on Samsung heir's bribery case

SEOUL -- South Korea's top court is set to make its final ruling Thursday on a massive graft scandal involving Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong and ousted President Park Geun-hye.

In its final verdict, the Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold or reject a lower court decision that gave a suspended jail sentence to the de facto leader of the country's top conglomerate.

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Former YG chief grilled about gambling and pimping charges

SEOUL -- Yang Hyun-suk, former CEO of YG Entertainment, appeared before police investigators on Thursday to be questioned about the allegations that he engaged in habitual gambling abroad and arranged sex services for foreign investors.

The 49-year-old Yang, clad in a black suit, arrived at the office of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency's Intellectual Crime Investigation Team in Seoul, at 9:51 a.m. He had been summoned as a criminal suspect.

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S. Korea, Japan culture ministers to seek way out of worsening diplomatic ties

SEOUL -- The culture ministers of South Korea and Japan are set to hold a bilateral meeting Thursday to discuss cooperation on the cultural front amid escalating trade and diplomatic rows between their countries.

The meeting between Culture Minister Park Yang-woo and his Japanese counterpart Masahiko Shibayama, set for Thursday afternoon at a convention center in Incheon, just west of Seoul, was arranged on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the culture and tourism ministers of South Korea, Japan and China.

(END)

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